Category: Television

An Invention to Make Hockey Better

Last night while watching the Bruins’ double overtime loss to Montreal, I noticed something I’ve only casually noticed before.

The time keepers suck.

Think of how many times you’ve been watching a hockey game and the referee has blown the whistle.  If you watch the clock, there’s between half a second and a couple of seconds that tick by before the time keeper stops the clock.

Not a big deal, right?

Now imagine that happens close to a hundred times — that’s roughly how many face offs there were in last night’s game.

That’s nearly two full minutes of hockey that are lost due to the delay between the whistle and the clock stop.

Sometimes they’ll go back and reset the clock if it’s close to the end of the game, but most times they just ignore that time.  Imagine what a team trying to come back from behind and win could do with two extra minutes of a hockey game.  That’s an extra 3% of playtime.

Now, imagine that the time keeper didn’t have to stop the clock. Imagine if (in my imaginary world where I could make things instead of just think them up), the whistle stopped the clock.

The whistle hasn’t been improved upon since it was invented (that’s a complete guess, I have no idea and no inclination to do the research), but imagine a bluetooth or wifi whistle that connected to the time system. When the ref blows the whistle, the clock stops immediately.

Wouldn’t you want your team to get those few precious seconds back every time the whistle blows?

Is Friends the greatest tv show of our generation?

Friends lasted for ten years. From 1994 to 2004. Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

I, like many others that I know, own the entire series on DVD, and routinely watch it on a daily and nightly basis. It’s hard not to when TBS airs it so frequently. Just on a given day it’s on from 3pm to 5pm, and again from 11pm to 1am. That’s just on a single station. Four hours, without even seeking it out, there it is.

I know tons of people who love and watch it as much as I do, too. Which begs the question, are there are other more re-watchable shows that started and ended in the lifetime of the thirty something generation? Can I say that Friends may be the greatest show in my lifetime? Yes. Would most people agree? Maybe. I’m sure there are others that may have preferred Cheers or Seinfeld, but Friends has (and still has) an intense following.

Sure, it’s not without fault. It’s not a perfect show, and there’s quite a few episodes that I want to skip when they come on. For me, it’s the episodes that focus too much on Phoebe. I never liked her character that much, and Lisa Kudrow is about as funny to me as Dave Coulier was on Full House.

Why was Friends so great? Was it the writing? The actors? Both? For me, I think it’s a great show because of how great the actors were with the dialog they were given. I don’t think that it had anything to with relating to what they were going through in a given episode, I think I was too young to relate to most of that. There’s definitely times when I re-watch an episode and am amazed at the delivery of some of the lines — the dialog between Rachel and Ross when they’re fighting over Ross sleeping with the copy shop girl? Amazing.

Friends is one of those shows that brings people together. Meet a new friend? Bring up your favorite episode of Friends and chances are, you have something to talk about for hours. People still get teary eyed when the last episode airs (myself included) as they walk out of Monica and Rachel’s apartment (I know Chandler lived there at the end, but it’s always Monica and Rachel’s apartment to me) and leave their keys on the counter. Is a great ending to a fantastic ten year run.

There’s a number of rumors as to whether or not there will ever be a reunion show or movie. Most of them say there won’t be, and it’s because of one or two of the cast members not wanting to do it. Jennifer Aniston has been on Courteney Cox’s Cougartown. Courteney Cox has been on Matthew Perry’s Go On. Clearly some of the cast still get along and would be up for the reunion, but then you read about Matt LeBlanc saying he doesn’t want to see the characters “old”. I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it’d be great to see a follow up to see how everyone is, and what they’ve been up to for the last decade. On the other, is there anything else that they could do more, that we haven’t already seen from Friends? They broke ground for the way that a lot of sitcoms present stories, paved the way for sitcom writers, and educated networks that you have to pay your talented cast members to keep your best show(s) on the air.

I love Friends and think its the best show my generation has yet to see. What’s your take on it, dear reader?

Editor’s note: I wrote this last night on the iPad again while watching the hockey game.  My apologies for any typos.

Oh Full House, why didn’t I question you as a child?

Most nights while sitting and watching television, I inevitably end up watching an episode or two or Full House. Okay, so maybe it’s more like three or four, sue me. (And usually follow it with two hours of Friends as I doze off to sleep.)

What I never realized was how many things are wrong with the show. I’m writing this from my iPad now, while watching the episode called Happy Birthday Babies (Season 5 Episode 10, from November 12th, 1991). It’s the one where Rebecca has the twins (which if you’re following along at home and aren’t a moron, means those twins have been old enough to legally drink for over a year now). This particular episode has a ton of flaws, most notably when Jesse says he’s having sympathy pains for Rebecca’s pregnancy.

The doctor (an Ob/gyn) touches his stomach for two, maybe three, seconds and diagnoses him as needing his appendix removed. They whisk him away, and separate him from Rebecca while she’s in labor.

Normally diagnosing someone with anything takes more than a second of touching, doesn’t it?

Now we’ve moved on to Danny bringing in the camera crew to film Rebecca being in labor for Jesse, since he’s missing it. Like a hospital would let in a camera crew?

Onto the next scene — Danny is in the delivery room with Rebecca. In bursts Joey (the unfunniest person on television in the ’90s) wheeling Jesse in on a bed, so he can be there when the twins are born. No sterilization. No hair cap. No scrubbing in. They just stroll him right in, and deliver a couple of kids. Just like that, magic.

One of the other things I never noticed, but is clear now in my adult life? (I haven’t verified this yet, but I plan to eventually re-watch all of the episodes to confirm.) Danny kisses Michelle on the head or face in every episode. I noticed this a few weeks back, and have been watching for it since. It’s almost a given. And kind of creepy knowing all the sexual jokes that Bob Saget makes about the Olsen twins in his stand-up routine.

Cut back to this episode: Jesse and Rebecca are now laying in bed together with the twins. A king sized bed. In a hospital. Like that ever happens.

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with Full House. On its face, it’s not really that great of a show, is it? I suppose it’s because of the nostalgia factor that people from my generation have for shows that we’re once part of TGIF. (Re-reading that makes me sound old and crotchety, sorry.) I think everyone my age that watched TGIF loves Full House, and Boy Meets World. Does anyone really miss Family Matters, though? Does that make us partially racist?

Now I’m curious what other shows were on TGIF. According to Wikipedia, TGIF debuted Friday September 22nd, 1989. Just a week before my tenth birthday. The original lineup was:

  • Perfect Strangers
  • Full House
  • Mr. Belvedere
  • Just The Ten of Us

It wasn’t until a few years later that Family Matters showed up (’90-’91). This article on Wikipedia also details quite a few shows that I don’t even remember, such as: Baby Talk, Billy, Going Places, Where I Live, On Our Own, You Wish. Am I alone there, or do you remember any of those?

Though the lineup over the years mostly had some shows that our generation loves, there were certainly some duds. I think the issues started when those of us that started watching this great Friday night lineup grew up, and were no longer home on Friday nights to watch. Wikipedia also reports that ABC has tried to reboot TGIF two more times since its original debut in 1989.

And thus concludes tonight’s lesson on Full House, TGIF and making you feel old. You’re welcome.

Editor’s note: Sorry for the typos. Autocorrect got the best of me.  Double note: this was my first post from the WordPress iPad app. It did quite a nice job.

Awesome Birthday Gift

A good friend of my wife’s, who’s since become a good friend of mine (Trish) confused me the other night, at the party, by saying that my gift was “being made in New Jersey” and that it would be a few days late.

Confused, and wondering, I forgot about it. Until last night, when Christine brought it home.

I opened the bag to find a bunch of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit schwag.  Trish knows it’s one of our favorite shows, and also knows that both my wife and I have crushes on Mariska Hargitay who plays a Detective on the show.

My gift also includes an autographed photo of the entire cast, and one just from Mariska.

Mariska Hargitay - it says "To Mike Happy Birthday"

Mariska Hargitay - it says "To Mike Happy Birthday"

My friends rule. Thanks for calling in the favor, Trish!  Great gift!  I’ll certainly frame both of the pictures, and hang them up in our place!

Another Year

Another year’s passed, another birthday has hit.   Man, time flies.

You may have noticed that the “music” section of the website’s gone.   You’re not dillusional, it really is gone.   I took it down, while I redo it.   I started typing up the lyrics to all of the songs I’ve written.

It was misleading before, since there were only 12 songs up there, that were the 12 most recent.   In actuality, I think I’ve written well over a thousand.   I’ll know for sure, once I’m done typing them all.

As it stands now, they’re in various manila folders and hanging file folders on the floor in our office at home.   I’ve typed up about 30 so far, and haven’t had time to keep going, with all the other things going on.   I’ll get there, I promise.

Other than that, status quo.   Websites are still going well, working a redesign for MovieSnobs that’s about 70% done.   Rock Band 2 still kicks ass.   Christine still loves her job.

Life is good.   Nay, life is great.   And “Chuck” comes back tonight, and I love that show.   Now, if I can fix my internet at home, and get onto XBox Live to see what this big update today was, I’ll be happy.   Hopefully it’s the Netflix integration, which’d rule, since I just signed back up last week.   Online streaming is pretty bad-ass.

WordPress 2.6

WordPress 2.6 was released last night/this morning, and is a big improvement. There’s some great new features, and some security patches that were done.

I went through this morning, and upgraded all my WordPress installs, which is always a fun (yet daunting) task.

I began repurposing the old media tower last night, into a home web-server. Not that I plan on using it, but just because I want to see if I can do it, from the ground up.

Trying to run Fedora 9 as my OS, having a bit of trouble with DNS and internal routing though. Going to work on that this weekend.   Am also planning on trying Ubuntu as my server OS, as well.   I like Fedora, but apparently Ubuntu’s all the rage right now.

More Design Work

Over the weekend/holiday, I did quite a bit of design work, and learned a few new things, as well.

I started off on Friday night, by finishing the install of the CMS software, for one of my design clients. I’m not sure exactly what his intent is for the site, but the CMS software I installed is a social networking application (similar to MySpace, Facebook, etc). Once he gets back in town we’ll discuss what he’s looking to do with the site, and how much resources he’s looking to throw at it, to make it what he wants.

My office was closed yesterday, due to July 4th, so I spent the majority of the day, working with Christine working on one of our new projects. We’re building a site about Salem Massachusetts (where we live). Sort of an informational site for tourists. Where to go, where to eat, what tours to take, how much money to anticipate spending, etc. We figured with all the tourism that happens around our house from May through November, it would be helpful to have a site where people can get information about the area. It hasn’t launched yet, but we spent a lot of time yesterday working on it. I spent my day re-writing the code for the listings page, and managed to work in some clauses into my queries that will allow sortable tables (something I previously didn’t know how to do), so I’m psyched about that. I’ll post a link to the site, once it’s complete, and will add it to my Design Portfolio (up top there).

That’s all I’ve got for now. That, and be sure you watch Burn Notice tonight at 10PM. The pilot was just okay, but I think the show’s going to get a lot better in time.